Christian Aid

Mali Folk Centre: Sustainable development through carbon-free energy production

This innovative and ground breaking project will provide clean, renewable energy for 6 villages in rural Mali, thereby improving the livelihoods and reducing poverty levels of more than 15,000 people. Jatropha (a natural bio-fuel) plantations and Jatropha fuelled energy service centres will be established, providing a clean, renewable source of energy, and leading to improved health care, education, and economic opportunities for the target population.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1105851)





  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



This is an exciting new initiative that marks a first step towards instigating sustainable, clean energy for sub-saharan Africa. With its first funding recently secured, Christian Aid is now aiming to scale up the work with its local partner Mali Folk Centre. Seeking to increase the ability of rural villages to adapt to climate change, the project will provide clean, renewable energy enabling communities to diversify economic activities, mitigate further greenhouse gas emissions, and simultaneously combat poverty. Heralded as one solution to the world's search for new energy sources, Jatropha will be grown on marginal land (therefore not detracting from food cultivation) and its seeds will be crushed to give oil that will power new energy service centres (ESCs). The energy produced by ESCs will provide electricity to health centres, enabling storage of essential medicines and vaccines, and the ability for women to give birth safely during the night. Lighting will improve education, particularly for women and children attending evening classes, and energy fuelled water pumps will improve health through the provision of clean water. Small businesses and increased economic activity enabled through the provision of energy, will generate increased capital flow and ultimately serve to uplift communities and raise target beneficiaries out of poverty. This is unique and pioneering project with the potential for extensive multiplication throughout sub-saharan Africa.